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Family Trust opens centre

After years of wrangling, applications, land restitution and objections, the Solomon Family Trust will open the new Constantia Emporium on Tuesday November 26. The 15 000 m2 shopping centre has 26 shops including Checkers, Woolworths, Clicks, MTN, various restaurants, banks, ATMs and office spaces. Construction began in August last year. “This is the new South Africa that we all dreamed of,” said Rashaad Solomon, a member of the Solomon Family Trust, as he walked around the complex, which is in the final stages of construction before its opening to the public. A number of black families were forcefully removed from Constantia by the apartheid regime, but so far only two families have been given land back – the Solomon family is one of them. They had occupied the land for 65 years before they were forcefully removed. (“Victory for Solomon family,” Constantiaberg Bulletin, January 31). Rashaad Solomon stands in front of the Constantia Emporium which will be opened to the public on Tuesday November 26. Rashaad, who was born on the land in 1945, said he still remembered the day he and his family were forcefully evicted from their farm under the Group Areas Act. They were placed in Crawford/Rondebosch East. “The unjust apartheid laws disturbed and dispersed a lot of families on this land to various parts of the peninsula. Getting this land back and going forward with this development has put the family back together. Now we are united in promoting this brand in Constantia,” said Rashaad. Shrif “Solli” Solomon, another representative of the family, said there were about 80 beneficiaries who would benefit from the shopping centre, which will be leased to stores, including the anchor tenant, Shoprite Checkers. The family had decided a shopping centre would be most beneficial after exploring various options for the land, he said. “We still get to own the land while leasing it out to these shops. We also get to establish ourselves as a responsible community member in Constantia.” The shopping centre will feature old photographs of the family’s farm before it was taken from them. Workers at Soil for Life in Constantia, who were passing the centre, said they were looking forward to seeing a Checkers in the neighbourhood as they would be able to get cheaper meals during their lunch breaks. The Constantia Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association (CRRA) took the Solomon Family Trust to court last year, saying ...

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